Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My Autumn with Psalm 119 #29

I will be continuing on in my study of Psalm 119 this autumn. I have spent months reading Thomas Manton's exposition of Psalm 119. In December, I hope to cover the next sixteen verses of Psalm 119.

49 Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.
50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
51 The arrogant mock me unmercifully, but I do not turn from your law.
52 I remember, Lord, your ancient laws, and I find comfort in them.
53 Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your law.
54 Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge.
55 In the night, Lord, I remember your name, that I may keep your law.
56 This has been my practice: I obey your precepts.
57 You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey your words.
58 I have sought your face with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.
60 I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.
63 I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.
64 The earth is filled with your love, Lord; teach me your decrees.

Sermon 66 (Psalm 119:59)

  •  IN these words we have— 1. David’s exercise, I thought on my ways. 2. The effect of it, I turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
  • In the former verse he beggeth mercy and the favour of God. Now those that beg mercy must be in a capacity to receive mercy. God is ready to show mercy, but to whom? To the penitent, that humbly seek it, and turn from the evil of their ways. We cannot expect God should be favourable to us while we continue in a course of sin.
  • Doct. That serious consideration of our own ways maketh way for sound conversion to God.
  • 1. The necessity of serious consideration in order to repentance. 2. How much it concerneth us after we have considered effectually to turn to the Lord.
  • First, The necessity of serious consideration in order to repentance. And there— 1. What is consideration. 2. The objects of it, or the things that must be considered. 3. I shall argue the necessity of this. First, What is this consideration or thinking upon our ways? In the general, it is a returning upon our hearts, or a serious and anxious debating with ourselves concerning our eternal condition.
  • Now God bringeth us to this— 1. Partly by his word, which showeth our natural face, or natural estate and condition before God. It is appointed for this purpose, to be the instrument to awaken men, to discover them to themselves. 2. Partly by afflictions; as the prodigal, when he was reduced to husks and rags, then he came to himself and was brought to his right mind.
  • Affliction is sanctified to this end, to open the eyes; it bringeth us to ourselves.
  • By his Spirit; and the first effect of his operations is compunction: Acts 2:37, When they heard this they were pricked in heart, and cried out, Men and brethren, what shall we do to be saved?’ It makes them anxious and solicitous. I ascribe this work to the Spirit, because it was a time when the Spirit was newly poured forth. Well then, in the general, it is God’s awakening the heart to a serious and anxious debate with itself concerning its eternal condition, before which we go on sleepily in a course of sin; but then the soul crieth out, What have I done, and what shall I do? how carelessly have I lived! and what shall become of me to all eternity?
  • More particularly, this thinking upon our ways involveth in its full latitude three grand duties:— 1. As it relateth to our past estate, or the ways wherein we have walked, self-examining, or a serious searching and inquiring in what condition we are before God. This is necessary to conversion and turning to the Lord. 2. As it relateth to present actions, or the ways wherein we are to walk, so it implieth prudent consideration before we do anything; let us see our warrant, that we may do nothing but what is agreeable to God’s word. 3. With respect to the tendency and issues of things; and so it noteth fore-consideration or deliberation in order to choice. God biddeth his people stand upon the ways and see, and inquire after the old paths, which is the good way, and walk therein,’ Jer. 6:16;
  • No course will satisfy conscience, no course will make you happy, but a life led according to the word of God.
  • 1. An examination of our past course, or a looking into our own estate. 2. A careful watch over future actions. 3. A consideration of the issue and event of things. I have viewed my life past. I have been wrong, and I see it will be bitterness in the issue; therefore I purpose to give up myself to a course of obedience, and therefore to consider well of my actions for the future. Now this is a work that is not once to be done, but always. As often as we look to ourselves, we shall find something that needeth amendment; and therefore we need to press the heart with new and pregnant thoughts to mind our duty, and to use constant caution, and taking heed to our ways that we may not go wrong.
  • It is a great advantage to call to mind whose creatures we are; for this will shame us, that we have done no more than we have done for him, from whom we have all that we have; and this in youth, when the effects of this creating bounty are most fresh upon our senses. In good earnest consider, who was it that made thee a reasonable creature; not a stone, and without life; nor a plant, and without sense; nor a beast, and without reason; but a man, with reason, and understanding, and will, and affections; that thou mayest know him, and love him, and enjoy him. And hast thou never thought of the God that made thee?
  • This is my end, to seek after God, to please him, to serve him.
  • We have too long gone on in a course of sin, and the more we go on, the more we shall go astray, and wander from the great end for which we were created, which was God’s service and honour. Oh! consider your ways, especially when conscience is set awork by the word, or when we smart under the folly of our own wanderings, and God maketh us sensible of our mistake by some smart scourge.
  • This serious consideration is a good means to awaken us from the sleep of security. When we consider the end why we were made, the rule we are to walk by, and poise ourselves about conformity or inconformity to this rule, and do withal revolve the issues of things in our minds, it cannot but rouse us up out of our sloth and stupidness, and make us act more vigorously and regularly as to the ends of our creation.
  • Secondly, How much it concerneth us, after we have considered our ways, to turn to the Lord, and diligently to pursue the course which he hath prescribed: I turned my feet unto thy testimonies.’ A sound conversion is here described. It is by God’s grace that we are turned, but we turn our selves when the purpose of our souls is fixed: Turn me, and I shall be turned.’ God inclineth the heart, and we manifest it by binding ourselves by a thorough purpose.
  • We must entirely give up ourselves to the direction of his word.
  • Light thoughts work not; when they are deep and ponderous, then they leave a durable impression. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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